Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tasty Worms

Okay, so they're sour gummy worms.  And added to the perfect chocolate cupcake, with some Oreos, you've got yourself a tasty treat.

Ingredients:
- cupcakes (from a box, homemade, whatever you fancy)
- icing (preferably chocolate)
- Oreos
- gummy worms
Let some little hands and feet crush up the Oreos in a large Ziplock bag.

Make your assembly line of cupcakes, icing, Oreos, and worms for each little one.  I use a cookie sheet to somewhat cut down on the mess...but it's our experience you still end up with a kitchen floor dusted with Oreos.  This is where a dog would come in handy.

End result, worms in dirt cupcakes...and children with chocolate faces and hands.  Outside with you my little chefs!  
Happy baking to you!

Learning Along the Way

For me, as a wife and mommy, there are lessons of the heart and lessons of the home to be learned daily.  The latter has brought me laughter and thoughts of Does anyone else do this?  Does anyone else grab scissors and trim the carpet when they can't get a stain out?  How about spit shining your kitchen before company arrives?  Spot mopping the floor with a baby wipe?  The list continues.
Since having 3 little ones, my standard of clean has changed quite a bit...in fact, I'd say most standards of the house have shifted down on the important pole.  There's a balance to be found and some days the balance changes.
And I'm learning.
Today, I had the sweetest helper.  She watches my every move.  As I vacuumed, she stayed right by my side with her vacuum.  She mirrored me into each room of the house, laying her own stripes in the carpet.  I laughed, smiled, and kept the tears from falling.  I'm learning my favorite place is by my girl.

{Sophie Lynn loves to get a close to the camera as possible...case and point.}
Then there's this one.  Currently, she is learning life without the pacifier.  She's loved the paci since the day she was born.  Ali Beth is learning to sleep through Sophie's withdrawals of the beloved pacifier.

She's learning how to put her clothes together...Emma style.  As long as it's weather appropriate, it's a go.  Today's attire...pretty cute if you ask me!

Ali Beth is learning how to sit up and fly...

I'm certain whatever lessons the are to be learned, there is joy to be found, memories to be made, and sweet little ones to kiss along the way.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Doke Zoo

So today was a beautiful March (almost April) spring day and we soaked up the sweet sun on our faces as we frolicked in the grass...oh wait, no that didn't happen at all.
As we all know, it's super cold and feels even colder outside.  So instead of packing sunscreen and wearing flip flops, we opted for hats, gloves, and scarfs and toasty warm shoes.
And the OKC Zoo was completely ours.
Our sweet friend Cadence joined us for the chilly adventure.  
You know it's cold when the elephants are moved indoors in their barn.  Sophie is loving elephants right now so she loved getting to perch and just watch them.

And the tiniest one, she slept the entire time.  I bundled and wrapped her up till she could hardly move.  Hat on the sweet little noggin, tucked into the stroller just right...recipe for a snoozing baby.
I hear the Zoo is empty like this on cloudy, cold days.  We loved our day at the Doke Zoo as we called it!

This Morning

There are mornings when I wake up and I know I'm going to miss my dad even more today.
This morning is one of those mornings.
Remembering being a little girl in his presence, trying to hide and contain my excitement when he arrived at my basketball games, playing horse in the driveway until it was so dark we couldn't see the net, laughing at his silly dad jokes, the smell of his cologne when I took his arm to walk down the isle.
It's still very early this morning and I know the day holds wave after wave of memories of him.  Because you see, that's what these mornings hold for me.  Sweetness.  My heart trying so hard to remember him and trying so hard not to forget anything.  Sometimes I feel like a little girl in a field chasing fireflies before they fly away.  I don't want to forget.

There's an old man at Panera that I stand behind every week and from behind, he looks like my dad.  Shorter, saggy pants, tiny body, usually a jacket, hands in his pocket, feet apart.  Some mornings I am certain it's him.  The encounter is a mixture of happiness, joy, and sadness and longing.  Some day I will tell this sweet old man he reminds me of someone special.  For now, I hope he's ahead of me in line so that I can think he looks like my dad and then allow my heart to remember and day dream about the years I had with him...only the good ones.

This morning is like the other mornings I have.  The mornings when I plead with the Lord to take my hopes and fears that my little ones don't know him and don't have that piece of their childhood I didn't have and was certain my children would find in my dad, grandpa.  I surrender to the Lord the dreams I had for my children to have with their grandpa and the aches I have when my oldest clings to other grandpas of her friends because she somehow knows she needs it.  The Lord is showing me I don't have to worry, He holds her in His hands and He'll take care of her and all of my lovelies...just like He does for me every day.
This morning I am reminded of the truth that He is a Father to the fatherless.  I know this is true, I know this replaceable love from Him.  Today, I need it in larger doses and the best part is...
this morning, I know He's there.

Weekend

We had a lovely weekend.  Some sun and play-outside-for-hours weather.
We made bird houses for our little friends while we enjoyed some of daddy's birthday cake.


And then some not so lovely weather...that Chris and I somehow missed the forecast where I'm sure the words cold, north wind, wear coats were mentioned.  Oops.
Nevertheless, onward.  We cheered Emma and the Shark Attack crew on for their first soccer game.  They did so well!  Emma was definitely taking it all in.
No worries...mommy and daddy will watch the weather forecast before the next game.


Last stop for the weekend, Nolan's 2nd birthday party.  I can't believe this little one is almost 2 years old!!!  We love our Nolee Polee.  He is sweet, fiery, playful, determined, and kind. 
And we love you very much!
Hope you had a lovely weekend too!

She's here

Cambelle Grace Ho
6 lbs. 6 oz.
18.5 inches
4:44pm
She's here and we love her already!

Friday morning Shannon and I were scheduled to meet for our weekly coffee but we opted for the snooze button instead.  Good thing.  The Lord knew what sweet Shannon needed...rest.  Her precious one decided to come a week early.  Love this little one.   
1 Samuel 1:20..."because I asked the Lord for him."
We have been waiting for you little one.  We have asked the Lord for you and you are here.  You are so loved!

Goin' to the Chapel

Rowdy and Toni are getting married!  We've been blessed to know Toni for most of her time here at OU and for the past year we've been able to spend time with Rowdy and needless to say, we are huge fans.  This past week, Rowdy asked Toni to marry him...and she said yes!!!
We love you both SO much and couldn't be more excited about what the Lord has for you as husband and wife!  
Congratulations!!!
love, the dokes

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Right Now

It's spring time, the daffodils have bloomed, tulips are budding, and the irises are on their way.  In this season of motherhood, my heart is bursting with joy.  Right now, I want time to slow down and even stand still because I don't want to miss a thing, not one second of their little blooming worlds.
 Alice, right now, you're my cuddle bunny, a professional nuzzler.  You carefully finds your favorite places to burrow in and take a nap on mommy.  You find your perfect groove and drift off into sweet sleep wrapped up in love.   

Emma, right now, you are a hundred miles an hour, on the go, ready for anything.  Your specificity and craving for templates is the perfect combination of first born and little girl wanting to take charge.  You are sweet and don't know a stranger.

Sophie, right now, you are the perfect balance of tenderness and fire.  You know what you want and are learning anything is possible.  You crave independence and flourish when it is granted.  You are a delight.

The right nows of today are filling my heart full to the brim with joy.  Any mommy knows motherhood isn't all roses.  It's messy and it's dirty.  But in between the tantrums and refining moments, are the right nows.  And right now, she's growing up faster than I'm ready for and I want to bottle up her sunshine, her laughter, her tender voice, and savor every part.  
She's 4 and seemingly ready to fly and be in the middle of everything.  
She's 2 and is coming into her own little girl self.
She's 6 months and she is strong and tender all at once. 
Right now and forever, I am a mommy entrusted with the most sacred gifts, the very gifts He said let them come unto Me and said to imitate their approach and posture.
Right now and forever, I am in love with these budding treasures.

A Celebration

Chris' birthday is today...let the celebration begin!

To start, little hands made a tasty breakfast of scrambled eggs with cheese and bacon.  They also made toast and mommy poured the coffee.  What better place to indulge in breakfast than in bed!



For gifts, the girls and I made these sweet handprint circles.  A bag of flour, can of salt, and some food coloring, and you've got yourself a precious keepsake with precious little handprints.  I love anything with their handprints, it's usually an automatic cry on the spot!
The Doke bakery was open and whipped up a birthday cake with substitution of coffee instead of water in the batter.  Delicious.
Date to dinner at one of our favorite spots, Tarahumaras.  Where else can you eat your body weight in tortillas and queso before your meal even arrives?

Surprise!  We love Braum's, I mean love it.  I remember the day my brother Rod let me in on the secret that you can customize your banana split...what?!?!?  Anyways, some friends helped me surprise Chris and enjoy some tasty cold treats.  We love our friends even more than customized sundaes!
Babe, you are cherished and loved by all of your girls.
I remember the night I met you, I remember kicking myself for not wearing make up or taking 5 seconds to wear something cute.  I remember the day you asked me to marry you and I said yes a hundred times and couldn't wait for forever to begin.  I remember jumping up and down when the words I know pronounce you man and wife were spoken.  I remember your face each time we heard It's a girl! and your sweet face bursting with unexplainable joy when you saw each of their faces for the first time.
You're just plain dreamy to me.  You're perfect for me.  You're perfect for this house of princesses looking to you as their prince...I think you hear prince just as much as daddy these days!
Happy birthday babe!  You are oh so perfect for us and we love everything about you!  Today we gratefully celebrate you!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Venturing Out

I'll admit that venturing out with 3 little ones in just that, venturing.  It's risky, testing of the human wills, and requires one brave momma.  Venturing...sometimes it's just plain necessary.  We must get groceries because I find myself standing in the kitchen with peanut butter, tortillas, blueberries, and a left over tub of guacamole convincing myself I can make a meal out of this.  Sometimes we get out because we're running our biggest girl to and from school and other fun activities.  Sometimes we head out because there is fun awaiting us and we must partake!
This past week was spring break (a.k.a. no school or any other commitments), we so enjoyed drinking in the mornings of nowhere to be, playing in our jammies, and enjoying cup after cup of coffee while snuggling my Bunny.
But we did venture out a little bit...

 We met our friends Shannon and Sulley and Jenny, Keaton, and Nolan at the Library for an Insect Exhibit.  Emma, all over it!  Sophie, not so much.
My Bear held insects and even happily met the challenge of eating an insect...eating.  Sophie was delightfully content to read her Cinderella book and wander around singing to herself.


And on the way home, we just had to stop and eat some donuts in the middle of the day...because we couldn't resist and just needed to make sure the chocolate and sprinkles were still deliciously divine...and they were.  My girls, I'm not gonna lie, they can put some donuts away.  It's impressive even for me.  
{Sophie's bruise from the door frame is healing oh so nicely.}

We do love our adventures out and even though it is much work, planning, and finagling, we go and do.  Sometimes it's a complete success like today, other times I want to join my littles in the Oscar-worthy-fit-throwing-crying-performance because it's not at all going the way I had planned and I want to click my heels together and be home.

Even then, there's no other 3 little ones I'd rather venture with.



Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jenny

My girls love them some Jenny.
Sophie has some extra affection and love for her Aunt Jenny.  The Cochell's live down the street from us and whenever we drive by, Sophie looks for her.  If her car is there, Sophie screams with excitement Jenny!  Jenny's home!
Maybe it's because Jenny loves her so well.  
Maybe it's because Sophie knows she is in the presence of one of the sweetest women I've ever known.  
And she is sweet and special and so loving.
We love our Jenny.
There's always evidence Sophie has been somewhere.  This is the latest discovery.  She took bites  out of each apple on the table and carefully placed them back on the platter.  Nice.
Needless to say, she had the privilege of eating the remaining parts of the apples at every meal for a few days.  Such a sweet girl!
Just like her Aunt Jenny.

Family Visit

My mom and brother came for a quick visit this weekend, we always have a wonderful time when they visit!  We are so grateful for them and so appreciate them making the trip after a long week of work to Norman!
This time, we ventured out to the zoo.  

 Alice skipped the sight seeing and opted for a nap/cuddle-fest with mommy instead.  Just another reason spring break was so lovely.
 My girls are so into barrettes right now.  I have trouble trying fit them all in!  We don't leave the house without at least 4-7 barrettes in each little lovelies hair.
 Muka and Uncle Damon were troopers.  I think Damon carried Emma for half the trip!
I love this picture of Ali Beth and her Muka.  She knows she is loved by her grandma.  
I'll take this chance to say, my mom loves so well.  If you know my mom and are blessed to spend time with her, you will feel loved and taken care of.  
We love you too!!!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Secrets of a Mommy

I was thinking about all the little things I do or don't do as a mommy...secrets you would only know about if you were a fly on the wall at our house.
My Top 10 Secrets...

10.  Sometimes the second all 3 girls are down for a nap, I literally run throughout the house accomplishing tasks.  As if my running actually shaves off time...seriously, if you peeked in my windows, you would see me running!
9.  I totally eat my lunch and then the leftovers of the girls' lunches. You can never have too many goldfish or cheese sticks.
8.  Chris calls me 8-10 times a day...I don't always get to answer, and it may be a 30 second conversation, but I love it.
7.  I will totally sit in the parking spot at Sonic and wait 5 minutes, 10 minutes...whatever it takes to get the happy hour price.  
6.  Sophie cracks eggs like you would imagine The Hulk would...and I don't always fish out the shells.  Sorry folks!
5.  I love naps, preferably with one of my girls.  Love the cold sheets, ceiling fan humming, closed curtains, phone on silent, and a nice long nap.
4.  If I can find a way to incorporate peanut butter in everything, I do...(oatmeal, brownies, granola bars, cookies).  I'm certain it's the best food ever!
3.  I love to play with my kids but even more love watching them play, trying to figure out what they're thinking, watching their imaginations come alive.
2.  I love, love, love the newborn phase and wish my Bunny would slow down and not grow so fast into a baby wanting to keep up with her sissies. 
1.  I smell my clothes before they are classified as "dirty".  There may be a stain but if it's not too noticeable and doesn't smell, it's back on the hanger for you!

*****************
Some days I feel I fit the cliche' of a stay-at-home mom...I always have spit up on my shoulder, pacifiers and barrettes in my pockets, a car floor full of goldfish crumbs and crayons, and my idea of fun would be a night of Taco Bueno, followed by renting a movie and going to bed at 8pm.  I wish that when I lost my temper or didn't have kind hands someone would make me go to my room and take a nap or come out when I was ready.  
I'm able to laugh when the comments are made what do you do all day long and implications that being home with little ones isn't using my education or really any work at all.
I smile.  It's way beyond that.  I am raising world changers.  I am wiping noses and in the same breath believing God that any victory I ever have, my girls will automatically walk in that freedom.  No quest of perfection but instead to show my girls how much I am in love with them and want them to marinate in the truth that they are valuable and adored.  

My secret is...I am living my dream.